08.04.2013 - 10.04.2013 46 °C
Over the last three days we have been working hard to get the adopt an animal scheme up and running. We still have some work to do but we almost finished and we think we have done a really good job.
We started Monday morning, we came into the nice air conditioned office away from everyone to try and do as much as we possibly could. Chelsea finished the individual animal profiles, they look great and contain two pictures of the particular animal and a paragraph explaining their personality and what the adoption money would be spent on. Liam carried on with the species bio’s that have taken so long to complete. He has tried to keep it interesting as well as factual and has scoured the web to find the information needed. Everytime he thought he got close to finishing Chelsea would remind him of an animal he had forgotten.
In the afternoon we had a break from the adoption stuff, one of the newer volunteers here currently, Talei, is a zookeeper from Australia and is an expert on cassowaries. We have one cassowary, Digs, who is forgotton about more or less so we decided to get together as a team and Talei led us to make enrichment for him. Our idea was to make a mobile to hang from one of the trees in his enclosure, we made a cross shape and from each ended dangled something that cassowaries like. We had mango’s (freshly picked from the tree ourselves), banana’s and some tin foil wrapped around rocks and a coconut to act as a shiny object. When we were all finished we went down to fit them. Talei wanted to go in the enclosure with him to get to know what he is like, plus we needed to put the enrichment in. She asked if anyone would like to go in also, and although a like hesitant as cassowaries are dangerous and can do serious damage with a dagger like talon in their feet Liam volunteered. Armed with brooms in case he approached we entered. Digs was incredibly calm, he is used to people as they walk past him all day, he just stayed away and watched what we were up to. We hung the mobile, changed and cleaned his water bowl and also made him a mud bath as they really like water and mud. We then got out and left him to it. It took seconds for him to ignore all the mobiles and head straight to the fresh water. He took a few drinks and as the water bowl is just about big enough jumped in and sat down in it. It was really good to see, his water does not get changed that often by the Thai staff. We stayed and watched him play in the water and mud for a while and then left to sort out the evening monkey feed. When we came back the mobiles still had not been touched and Digs was still sat in the water. In the evening Chelsea did not feel well so we went back to our room really early, Chelsea just went straight to sleep and Liam carried on working on the now hated animal bios.
Tuesday we were back to working on the adoption packs. We asked for the whole day to try and get it finished and up and running before the end of the week. We went and worked in the office again, partly because it is quiet and we can think but mostly due to the air conditioning. It took all morning but Liam finally finished the species bios. Now the research is done and it is typed up he has sent it to Chelsea to pretty up. Chelsea spent the morning but a folder together with all the animal profiles, making an application form for adoptees and writing up all the prices and information on what you get in your pack. This took us up to lunch time so we had a little break and went back to see Digs and make him more mud to play in.
After lunch we came out of the office and back to the common room. Our next tasks were making a parenting board so we can hang all the names of the adoptees and also design a newsletter. Chelsea really wanted to make the board and Liam was happy to let her so we set to. As always Chelsea has done an amazing job, she has cut a piece of MDF around 3 square feet and painted white. She has then made a border using bamboo she has cut in half length ways. She then created a sign using some really nice barked wood and hung it with string in the middle. It looks great and it cost us next to nothing to make. Liam was equally as successful with his newsletter; he simply used a word template. He decided to actually complete the newsletter properly as if he was sending out so that everyone can see what he has in mind. He wrote a story about our fundraising, copied another from our website about the gibbons moving in together and added some little news snippets. It also has an introductory welcome section and finishes with information about our website and facebook accounts. Chelsea had the idea of having a photo of the month as we have so many great photos so Liam in cooperated that too. We are both happy with what we have done we really hope that people actually adopt and it works.
In the evening we fancied a change so some of us went to the river behind our apartments, we took a beer and watched the sunset. It is incredible driving the bike down to the river, red dusty track surrounded either side by rice fields with the sun setting over the mountains in the distance. After that we decided to go to Bo Phloi for pizza, as a change to the rice, and spent a couple of hours there before coming back and having a few more beers in the nearby village. We bought water pistols as soon it is Songkran and we tested them out on the local kids. It was good fun but we may have had one to may beers by the end of the night…
Today has been slow, mainly due to lack of sleep and hangovers. Liam put the finishing touches to the newsletter and sent it to the team to see what they think. We then planned tonight’s English lesson. It is the first one we have planned since we got back and Chelsea has decided to teach insects and bugs and then play a version of snakes and ladders with the kids. Liam has got photos of England and some US and English money as requested by the adults. The afternoon was a mixed bag. We sat with the cubs for a while and dealt with the tourist influx we get every afternoon, apart from one trying to sit on Blue the tiger and another daggling there small child over Tat’s enclosure it was Ok. One of the volunteers here is a film maker and is making a film of us all. Her idea is we all stand with an item relevant to something we are working on or do at the park and talk about it for two minutes. Liam really hates being filmed but we did ours together and talked about the adopt an animal work we have being doing. It was not as bad as Liam thought it would be, although Chelsea did most of the talking.
Our English lessons went down really well in the evening, the kids loved playing snakes and ladders and kept putting their counters back to the start as soon as the game ended. The adults were really interested in the pictures Liam bought and we spoke about England, US and Adam spoke about Australia and Czech. Their English is really improving and they pick a lot up and get a lot of practise just through having normal conversation.